Pearl Izumi: Apparel Built to Optimize Human Athletic Performance. More than 60 years ago in Tokyo, a father produced Japan's first bicycle racing apparel for his son, a promising racer. Today, Pearl Izumi USA, Inc. has evolved into a major brand of technical-performing cycling and triathlon apparel. In 1950 Kinji Shimizu rode his bike 38 miles every day to deliver up to 90 pounds of clothing to his customers in a neighboring village. In 1964, one of Kinji's sons, Hiro, raced for the Japanese national team at the Asian Cycling Championships. The team ordered its usual fourteen cotton kits, and a special fifteenth kit. After the races, the team director filled a helmet with scraps of paper with each racer's name. As fate would have it, Hiro's name was pulled. He won the special jersey. It was made in Italy and 100% nylon. Unlike anything he'd ever seen before. Later that year, Kinji created his first kit based on that Italian design. He used the best materials he could find. Kinji continued researching new fabrics and studying the body in motion. Over the next five decades, this approach led to many innovations. Building the foundation for what Pearl Izumi does today. The name Pearl Izumi is derived from the gem "pearl" and an area of Japan known for its clear water "Izumi." Literally translated, the name means, "fountain of pearls."